Cardi B and Mariah Carey Teamed Up to Talk About Confidence, Insecurity, and Prejudice in the Music Industry
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Cardi B once called herself the “strip-club Mariah Carey”, so Interview magazine recruited the Afro-Venezuelan songstress herself to interview Belcalis.
In a new conversation in Interview magazine, Cardi B and Mariah Carey teamed up to talk about the challenges they’ve had to face as famous women of color coming from tough backgrounds.
And in case you thought otherwise, Mariah Carey was not throwing any softballs. The conversation was intense. The women covered everything from confidence, to body image, to prejudice in the music industry. It didn’t seem like either of the women held back.
Mimi opened the interview by asking Cardi if she ever felt beautiful as a child. Surprisingly, Cardi responded opened up about a topic that society doesn’t take about very often: anti-Blackness in the Latino community.
“I’m Trini and I’m Dominican, there’s a lot of Dominicans that look a certain type of way [in the Bronx]. They have soft, pretty, curly hair. Growing up, guys would ask me weird questions like, ‘If you’re Dominican, why is your hair so nappy?'”
Cardi went on to admit that she bleached and permed her hair when she was young to the point where she damaged her hair. But she soon learned to take care of her natural hair and appreciate it for what it was.
Cardi’s confession about her hair prompted Mariah to reveal her own vulnerable story. “It was a very traumatizing thing for me having a black father and a white mother, because my mother, who raised me, didn’t really know about textured hair,” Mariah said.
The superstar duo also touched on the sensitive topics of racism and prejudice in the music and fashion industries.
In fact, MC point-blank asked Cardi B: “Do you feel that the record industry or the fashion industry, from your perspective, is inherently racist?”. Cardi explained that she wouldn’t technically use the word racist, but has “felt prejudice.”
“I have been involved in endorsement deals, and then I found out that certain white people got more money for their deals from the same company,” she said. “So it’s like, ‘When you’re not paying me what you’re paying these other people, why is that?’ It’s kind of insulting.”
Cardi also added that Black artists have a tougher time getting dressed by designers and getting seats at fashion shows, even though hip-hop culture influences fashion in so many ways.
Cardi B and Mariah Carey then bonded over the fact that both of them could only be themselves throughout their careers in the public eye.
Mariah applauded the fact that the public doesn’t require celebrities to have a squeaky-clean image anymore. “I do think people are much more accepting now,” she said. “…I do feel like people are, at least in some circles, allowed to be themselves and express themselves more than they were back in the day.”
“People expected me to be something specific, but I can only be me,” she added. “We’re similar in that way.”